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Blogging about personal finance has opened a whole new world to me.
That’s the world I used to read about but never dared to be a part of until five months ago.
I enjoy writing about all the frugal and not so frugal things that I do in my daily life and sharing them with the reader.
I am not dropping names to impress anyone. I just want to stress the pleasant surprises that blogging has brought to my life.
To me, their comments were like phone calls or even visits from big celebrities, something I had never even dreamed of.
If you are a music fan of Taylor Swift and suddenly get a text message from her complimenting you on your singing one day, you will know what I mean.
To them, it might be just another kind comment that they gave to encourage newbie bloggers.
But to me, those comments meant hours of smiles, optimism, and constant efforts to improve my blog.
They helped me promote my blog posts and gave such encouraging feedback that made me smile.
Blogging has also helped me understand myself better as a frugal person, a wife, a mother, a friend, a colleague, and a wanna-be entrepreneur. I write about my inner thoughts and feelings often on my blog, which directly mirrors the person that I am and who I want to be.
Blogging has indeed brought me so many benefits I never expected.
I am in awe of all the wonders blogging has brought to my life. However, it has also brought out my biggest insecurities, something I thought I had gotten over with a job that I like and a family that I love.
These thoughts and feelings started to surface after my second month of blogging. At first, I thought it was just some self-doubt that I would soon get over.
But the feelings were sometimes so overwhelming that I almost didn’t publish some of the posts that were actually well-received.
The questions of “Why would someone read this?” and “Why would someone be interested in this post?” have crept up on me more often than I would like. Sometimes it’s debilitating: I am doubting my ability to keep up with myself.
These emotions are not a direct consequence of blogging. It has more to do with my own insecurities, something I have been able to brush aside for the past four years.
When you write a blog, it should be fun and should set your mind free. After all, your blog is almost like your house, a place where you can just be yourself and don’t need to stress out about how you act or what you dress. Or is it?
1. My net worth
One thing I never thought much about was my net worth. To me, it was just a number. Mr. FAF and I were just two broke students not long ago, so we didn’t even bother to check how much we were worth. We never even discussed this topic until recently.
Many personal finance bloggers publish their monthly net worth reports. It is impressive to see how many of them have been able to accumulate such a massive amount of wealth which has enabled them to retire early.
Rockstar Finance has a net worth tracker where bloggers can publish their net worth. I decided to publish my net worth mainly because I wanted others to find me on a permanent list on Rockstar Finance. I was on the list of recently added blogs for only 7 days.
It wasn’t until then that I started calculating our net worth. When I realized we have a number attached to our names, it made me curious about the other numbers on the list. Many bloggers are worth millions of dollars.
While I’m happy they have been so successful, I also started thinking about how I am near the bottom of the list. I don’t think about this as often as before. But it was on my mind for quite some time in the third and fourth months.
2. My blog traffic
When I saw the numbers coming in, I was ecstatic. But I did something I shouldn’t have done, which was reading other bloggers’ traffic reports and comparing myself to them.
Many have said that my traffic is good for a new blogger, which I am grateful for. But then I started explaining these numbers away. Below are the thoughts that often creep into my mind:
— “The traffic won’t last.”
— “I will soon run out of interesting topics to write about and will fall behind.”
— “Maybe I’m just lucky in the beginning.”
— “Other bloggers will soon be able to take advantage of Pinterest and get much more traffic than I do.”
— “Other bloggers have done much better than I have.”
I started to worry about the present and the future of my blog. Sometimes I worry too much and for no reason.
3. What I write
During the first month, I just wrote blog posts nonstop in the evenings and on the weekends. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about this new adventure. It was mostly exciting. I produced so much content that I didn’t even want to go back and edit it. I just wanted to keep writing.
In the second month, I started to think more about marketing strategies and pay more attention to Twitter and Pinterest. I continued to write blog posts, but the writing wasn’t as intense as before. I slowed down and focused more on increasing traffic.
Starting in the third month, I eventually went back and proofread about 36 posts I had scheduled for the next three months. As I was reading them, I came up with all the reasons why someone wouldn’t want to read a particular post.
If it’s about losing weight, I’d think, ‘This is a personal finance blog. I shouldn’t talk about weight loss.’
If it’s about blogging, I’d think ‘The reader are either experienced bloggers who already know about blogging or non-bloggers who have no interest in blogging. Maybe I should just delete it.’
If it’s about Mr. FAF or Baby FAF, I’d think. ‘This is a bit personal. Why would someone be interested in reading about my husband or my baby?”
Even if it’s about frugality, I’d think “Why would someone care about our money saving tips? There are a ton of great tips on the internet.”
However, since I had already put in a lot of time, I decided to post them anyway. Some of the posts I initially didn’t want to publish were well received, which really surprised me. Below are some of them:
4. My technical skills
I am not an IT specialist. Although I am not bad at math, I am not great at it either. Chemistry and Physics are the two subjects that I just couldn’t fathom throughout my academic years.
In fact, I always wonder what’s so different about some people’s brains that make them so good at these subjects.
Not being able to solve technical problems related to the blog whether it’s coding or website design constantly reminds me of the fact that I’m not good at hard sciences.
I can pay an expert to take care of all the technical problems. But I’m pretty sure that expense is not in our budget at the moment (and I don’t want it to be). I had so many technical issues during the first three months of blogging that I was certain I couldn’t afford to seek professional help all the time.
5. Mr. FAF not blogging
Reading about other personal finance blogs made me realize that blogging is not always a one-person game. Many frugal couples build their blog together. They take turns writing and tackle problems together. I can imagine how it can help strengthen their relationship and their blogging business.
Mr. FAF has absolutely no interest in blogging. He doesn’t like writing. He also doesn’t read my blog. He probably gets an earful about what’s going on with it every day, so he doesn’t feel the need to read what happens in our lives. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what Frugal Asian Finance would look like if Mr. FAF actually joined me in blogging.
Although Mr. FAF studied Computer Science, he has never helped me fix any technical issues with my blog. He tried once without much success. His explanation is that coding is different from maintaining a website. I just nodded my head and tried on my own. Sometimes I just feel so alone.
If you’re thinking about blogging, don’t let the discussion above discourage you. Money by itself is not evil. It depends on how someone uses it. The same goes for blogging.
Blogging about money is not detrimental in any way. It is up to the blogger to decide how they want personal finance blogging to affect their lives and change the way they think.
I seem to have slipped down the path where insecurities have crept into my blogging passion and dampened it at many points. Those feelings are intangible and sometimes are so hard to get rid of.
But no one else except myself can change the way I feel about being a personal finance blogger and whether I want to let it lead my life.
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